Workers’ struggles in the formal sector ignited the push on the subject of low wages in the national limelight that redirected the national deliberation on whether to constantly increase the least salaries. The labor association in United States was once the main body that fought for the rights of workers that comprises of special groups and minorities. Research findings illustrate that wage prejudice remains to be a major issue in the economic front. This is despite the numerous attempts to alter the law to cater for each minority group that includes women, migrants, and less populated races. In 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was one of the statutes enacted into law by the previous Head of state Barack Obama. The query that remains in workers’ minds is the Act’s contribution towards averting the discrimination in wages and violations of workers’ rights at places of work. The pay imparity in the United States has diminished, however at a slow frequency, which indicates a flaw in the essential administration framework and rule to restrain workplace refinement. The Act offered a remission in the process of salary inequality lawsuits and has initiated prospects of discussing adjustments due to the interest it has drawn from governmental stakeholders.
Historical and Constitutional Background
The statute makes reference to the historical and constitutional framework of workplace refinement and the numerous undertakings initiated by sovereign divisions of the administration. Initially, the judicial arm functions unconventionally from the policymaking and law-making arms. Nonetheless, the constitution requires all arms to integrate and function together in various cases. The United States judiciary framework authorizes other lower courts to manage certain matters such as employment, governmental and commercial matters. Respondents that may be unsatisfied with verdicts in the lower courts may appeal in higher courts that have the power to overturn the preliminary verdicts.
The Supreme Court serves as the ultimate authority concerning law suits filed in the lower courts. The federal court is considered as significant as the constitution may contradict some state acts, and it comes in to solve such issues (Whitehouse, 2013). The 14th amendment of the constitution states the functions of the federal court specifically regarding equal protection and civil rights that articulate fair pay. The first part of the modification articulates that states will not develop or implement laws that may infringe on the citizens’ privileges. This illustrates the federal court as the ultimate decision-maker on issues involving articulation of different State Laws and opinions.
The next arm of the Legislature is the Congress that plays a crucial role in subjects that are linked to the discrimination of employees and wage equality. Historically, Congress constantly drafts laws that aim to bridge the gaps in wage inequality; however, most individuals are unable to access justice in law courts (Whitehouse, 2013). For instance, one of the laws drafted by the Congress is the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that modified the Fair Labor Standards Act to eliminate the disparity in wages based on gender. This epitomizes the Congress’ functions as either to draft new acts or amendment of present laws to fill the gaps that may infringe the rights of the American citizens.
Checks and Balances
According to Guy and Fenley (2014), the constitutional framework of the United States denoted the roles and functions of different organs that also authorizes the segregation of power. The framework illustrates the establishment of some government branches, and power is distributed amongst the same arms. On the other hand, the authority of a particular organ may be opposed by a different organ, therefore developing a checks and balances system. Furthermore, the case involving Lilly Ledbetter and the Fair Pay Act offers proof of the existence of checks and balances amongst employers as well as the judicial arm. In this case, the employers consist of the states, national administration, and the private sector.
In general, the Act was developed to articulate ways of how every government organ can scrutinize the each other on matters concerning the citizens. Lilly Ledbetter worked at the Goodyear plant in Gadsen, Alabama, for approximately twenty years and was amongst the few supervisors that were female. She encountered several instances that involved utterances by her employer in regards to not working at the firm as she was the woman. Moreover, a majority of the male colleagues would brag for receiving bonus dues while she was denied the privilege. She later recorded a complaint with the EEOC once she obtained an unspecified communication that exposed remunerations of the male managers. She was ultimately awarded back-pay by the jury and about $3.3 million in compensation for the damages. This illustrates the functions of the judicial arm in its oversight role of the executive or other government arms.
However, Congress’ aim was strengthening the checks and balances structure by initiating the course of developing the Fair Pay Act after an application by Lilly was overruled by the Appeals Court and Federal Court. This was as a result of the 180-days limit for filing a petition. Congress swiftly took action after the verdict, and the Fair Pay Act was enacted in approximately two years. The leader then approved the law involving the checks and balances framework to avert an instance that may show that the Congress transgressed their obligation (Guy & Fenley, 2014). The Act re-established the age-old law and helped to guarantee workers exposed to salary refinement the chance of asserting their civil rights with every inequitable paycheck retuning the duration of filing a petition.
Public Policy, Elections, and Media
One of the most crucial aspects not just as a subject of societal integrity but also as a subject of better finances is gender equity. Refinement will mean the loss of females’ productivity and welfare, their homes, and the community. Women remain to be less paid as compared to men despite bridging the gap in many regions. Therefore, public policy can influence the well-being and status of women in spite of cultural and social obstacles (Takamura, 2014). The executive and Legislature played a key role in advocating for parity through the Fair Pay Act, showcasing in what way public policies may influence the constriction of sex disparities.
Moreover, politics based on gender played a crucial part in the eight political ballot voting exercises. For example, the political election campaign was converted into a gender clash after the emergence of Hillary Clinton as the first female nominee to vie for presidency in U.S history. The initial debate was tainted by conflicts on various gender subjects that included rights on abortion and family planning. The subject of gender had an impact on the debate of the presidential campaign. The important aspect to this party-political occurrence is determining the consequences of the policy on politics on the basis of gender in the voting process.
The media also conveyed the message of equal wages before Congress drafted the legislation. For instance, a program known as Media Opts In highlights the critical issues concerning pay disparities. The interest amongst Americans in the subject resulted in an upsurge in mass media broadcasting. There was increasing discussion in the media concerning the issues that had impact on party-political drives and also forcing the Legislature to act.
Voting and Election Process
The topic on gender and equal wages is considered as the main point of emphasis during voter campaigns. This is as a result of the opinions and desire to gain numbers to earn a victory in elections. Women are not just considered as majority of the electorates, but the turnout is higher as compared to males. According to Carroll and Fox (2018), census statistics released in 2017 revealed that women recorded a 63.3% percent of the voters while men recorded 59.3%. As a result, both parties initiated mechanisms to increase the figures by integrating plans that women resonate with, who are the popular electorate.
Although the gender disparity has changed in recent years, there is an increased likelihood that female voters will be identified with the Democrats Party. According to Holder (2006), 56% of female voters’ side with the Democrats while 37% side with Republican ideologies and seven percent connect with the independent. This explains the shift in policies by the party during Obama’s tenure. According to Zucker and Zucker (2009), the capture of numerous seats in the senate and subsequent election of President Obama initiated intense alterations of numerous aspects in the lives of American Citizens. This includes various bills presented by Democrats concerning labor and employment matters. This represents the effects of policies on voting and elections and the quest by the key political organizations to appeal to the electorate.
The Fair Pay Act offered the basis of guaranteeing wage equality at the workstations. However, little development has been achieved in tackling disparity, particularly when payment inequality is considered. The existence of certain loopholes meant that employers are not liable in the event of any discrimination, for instance, Lilly Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. court case. The Fair Pay statute is attributed to bringing clarity and sanctions persons that may encounter refinement to ensue damages each point they obtain a paycheck that is believed to be prejudiced. On the other hand, further legislation is vital to hasten the narrowing of salary disparities. This should also extend to other concerns to extensively include other forms of refinement and further job-related desecrations.
Carroll, S. J., & Fox, R. L. (Eds.). (2018). Gender and elections: Shaping the future of American politics. Cambridge University Press.
Guy, M. E., & Fenley, V. M. (2014). Inch by inch: Gender equity since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 34(1), 40-58.
Holder, K. (2006). Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004. U.S. Census Bureau.
Takamura, J. (2014). Closing the disparity gap requires an integrated response from policy, research, and programs. Generations, 38(4), 119.
Whitehouse, S. (2013). Restoring the Civil Jury’s Role in the Structure of our Government. Wm. & Mary L. Rev., 55, 1241.
Zucker, K. D., & Zucker, B. (2009). The spring of hope: Labor and employment rights in the early days of the Obama era. Labor Law Journal, 60(4), 210.